Childhood & Gestation Diabetes
Children born to women who gained excessive amounts of weight during pregnancy or who struggled with obesity prior to pregnancy are three times more likely to be obese than children whose mothers gained a healthy amount of weight. Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States. It affects more than 18 percent of children, making it the most common chronic disease of childhood. This number has more than tripled since 1980. The risk for childhood obesity can actually begin before birth.
We know that metabolic changes that will likely shorten a person’s life span are the result of the increased inflammation in the womb. Therefore, the best way to generate a better metabolic future for the child is to reduce its exposure to its mother’s diet-induced inflammation during pregnancy. If left untreated, woman during pregnancy are a higher risk for metabolic syndrome, gestational diabetes, and eventually diabetes later in life. The driver for this negative fetal programming appears to be increased inflammation in the fetus. Expectant mothers will have a healthier baby by following an anti-inflammatory diet and supplementing with high grade ultra-refined fish oil low in PCBs.
Several papers published the results of a study in which overweight or obese pregnant women were given 2 grams of supplemental EPA and DHA per day starting on week 14 of their pregnancies and continuing until the end of their pregnancies approximately 25 weeks later. Those who got the fish oil had less inflammation as indicated by a reduction of the levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) and gave birth to infants who were longer compared to babies of the mothers taking the placebo capsules.
A reduction of inflammation in the womb reduces metabolic problems as the child matures. During pregnancy, omega-3s are a critical building block of the fetal brain, eyes, and nervous system. Omega-3 fatty acids may be the most important nutrients that any pregnant woman can possibly take to reduce inflammation for both mommy and baby.